Businesses react to minimum wage increase

Local News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Lawmakers in Virginia have signed off on a compromise to increase the minimum wage, raising it slowly to $9.50 per hour next year and up to $12 per hour in 2023.

Lynchburg business owner Garry Viar says he already pays more than minimum wage, about $9 per hour.

He’s not worried about the increase to $9.50 next year. It’s what comes after that he’s worried about.

He says he has set his prices based on various expenses, including employee salaries, and he’s worried about how the minimum wage increase will disrupt his businesses.

“I know what’s coming in every month,” he said. “I know what’s going out every month and every week for employees, so to go from what I’m paying now to 12, 15, I think ultimately people want 15 dollars an hour, I couldn’t do it.”

He says he’ll probably have to increase prices to compensate for the wage increases.

But he said he’s conflicted, saying he knows employees need to make a good living.

An employee working full time at $12 per hour makes about $24,000, which is below the poverty line for a family of four.

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